tv The Last Word MSNBC August 11, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
94% say politics. that's "the ed show." you can listen to me an the republican candidates debated in iowa and are worried about rick. 's next move. >> i was leading on the issue of not increasing the debt ceiling. >> is she unqualified, or just beating him in the polls? >> you were the front runner missing in action. you were in the witness protection program. >> i wish you put aside the got you questions. >> i will try not to ring the bell that much. >> creating a sense of urgency. >> when are you going to wrap up? it's time for me to talk. >> you can get in through a divided congress. >> well -- >> the record of texas speaks
for itself. >> i have the calmness in my heart. >> we're back with a late addition of the blast word tonight. the top eight declared republican presidential candidates participated in a presidential debate in iowa, the last debate before saturday's ames straw poll. not in attendance was a rick perry, whose spokesman said today that he will announce that he is running for president on saturday. early in the debate, fox news asked ms. ronny about being missing in action. >> you mentioned leadership on the economy, you are the front runner in this field. when it came to weighing in on the debt ceiling in congress,
something that had a major impact on the economy, many on the stage say you were missing in action. some even said you were in the -- hours before the house voted, you released a statement that said you could not support the bill. is that leadership? >> you know, this is a critical issue. how government will the government be? back in the days of john f. kennedy, the government took up 75 percent of the economy. today, government consumes 37% of the economy. we are inches away from no longer having a free economy. therefore, well before the debate got pushed along, i signed a pledge saying i would not raise the debt ceiling unless we had cut, cap, and balance. that is what i reiterated throughout the process. >> michele balkman
>> i have a very consistent record of fighting very hard against barack obama and his unconstitutional members in congress. i brought tens of thousands of americans to washington to fight the unconstitutional, individual mandate. when it came to cap and trade, i fought it with everything that was in me, including i introduced the light bulb freedom of choice act so people could purchase levels of their choice. >> tim:t was the first remember they were also running against president obama. >> where's barack obama on these issues? you can't find his plans on some of the most pressing financial issues. where is barack obama's plan on social security reform, medicare reform, medicaid reform? anybody in this auditorium or anyone watching on television, if you can find barack obama's
specific plan on those items, i will come to your house and cook your dinner. [ laughter ] [ cheering and applause ] >> or if you prefer, i will mow your lawn. in case he wins, i am limited to one acres. >> in the most interesting substantive question and relevance, all of the candidates were asked, if they would accept a deficit reduction package that would include an increase in taxation, but in a ratio of 10-1. that is to say, ten spending cuts to one portion of tax increases. they all said they would veto such a bill. >> just making sure everyone at home and everyone here knows that they all raised their hands and say that they feel so strongly about not raising taxes
that a 10 to 1 deal they would walk away from. confirming that. >> life from ames is host of ms nbc daily run down, chuck todd. i want to read one of the tweets during the debate. this one was my favorite. most important. you said grover norquist's most powerful man in gop, which echoes the way he is described on this show. they all say note to 10 to 1 top cuts to taxes deal. that was a revealing moment. >> it was and a very bad general election moment, bad answer to the whole -- i was surprised that even huntsman wasn't going to use one of them or differentiate themselves on the leadership question. that tells you this taxes thing,
and i saw it earlier today. there was a much tougher debate this afternoon at the did when registers soapboxes at the iowa state fair than tonight. he was so defensive on the issues of taxes. even here tonight, one of the ways he was defensive with on the issue of taxes. i have a republican pollsters tell me this and explain to me because i am going, why not take a 4 to 1 deal? i had a republican pollsters say, look, you don't understand. taxes is the only thing. no taxes pledge, the only thing that keeps various coalitions of the republican party together, whether it's the wrong call folks, tea party folks, whatever wing you want to put inside the republican tent. the only common denominator is taxes. if that somehow got compromised, it would create a divide inside
the party. i have had republican mitch strategist tell me that would tear the party down. >> who had the best night, who did what he or she had to do up there most effectively? >> the cheap, cliche answer is rick perry, because he did not have to be up there or do this. everybody tonight had some odd moments. the ones that had to do well was tim. you got the sense that, to use a baseball metaphor, any ball that was thrown remotely in front of him, he took a swing at it. he went after michelle. sometimes he did it in a serious policy way. sometimes he was cheap about it. same when he went after minute. you could feel the air of desperation with him. you see that with his campaign. there is a feel of a do-or-die
moment with the straw poll. then you had michelle brockman, who early on seemed really prepared for getting hit. she was ready for these attacks by tim. she seemed to get tired. frankly, at the end, i think she came up with a position on the debt ceiling. when she came up on the debt ceiling and said, we never should have raised it under any circumstances, that is a minority view even inside the house republican conference. that is not going to go over well with the business community. that makes it hard for her to take this leak from being a tea party favorite and making the leap to a possibility of becoming a mainstream republican candidate that the business community can get behind because they are acting like that answer. hindemith was able to stay on the side and above the fray. he took a couple of hits but did
not fire back. again, he was more effective this afternoon against his hecklers than he was tonight. >> let's bring in the rest of the debate analysis team. we have ed schultz. thank you for joining us. we also have "washington post" columnist, eugene robinson and bloomberg view columnist, jonathan alter. thank you for joining me. you work for an hour, but you got the first hour of the debate. the 10 to 1 ratio, it really is probably the high point, the most interesting point of the debate. they are now positioning themselves against what popular polling tells us, especially about the general election, where that position is favored by about 20% of the electorate. it seems this will corner them more and more into tight,
republican corners that do not appeal to the general elections. >> it almost seems like they are trying to outdo each other on taxes. >> always. >> the could have followed it up with out 100 to 1. all the hands would have stayed up. >> they are out trying to outdo one another. that was my interpretation. we have a thing in minnesota called minnesota nuts. we found out tonight that they left the republican arena. i thought that michelle and tim going back and forth with one another is very telling. we will see more of this with the candidates as we get going. they will have to separate themselves on issues on how far they will go when it comes to taxes, house for they will go when it comes to entitlement programs, and how far when it comes to rolling back health care reform. i thought michelle was strong tonight, and i thought it was
strong. the strongest was newt gingrich. tonight he came out with a very serious tone. he stuck it to chris wallace in the public liked. he is very serious about being barack obama away from the sound bites. he drew on his experience about other accomplishments that they were able to get when he was around washington, what reagan did. how when there was -- he found a way to move forward. >> they opened it up, and he consistently asked the best questions. chris wallace was the second questioner. chris wallace stayed on stuff that had nothing to do with policy. gingrich called him on it. it was a great moment for him. who else scored in this debate? >> i think that romney scored. nothing happened that upset his position. he is now very clearly the front
runner. >> the front runner wins when he doesn't get it. >> absolutely. maybe rick perry will knock him off his pedestal. he sounded confident and looked like a president. he did not look crazy, which you cannot say for some of the other candidates up there tonight. i think he did himself some good. that moment you identified when they all raised their hands, those guys testifying before congress, the tobacco company raising their hands. remember that shot? this was and i can't think. that was the only thing that the republican party stands for. it does not stand for and deficit-reduction, which is more in tune with where the american people are. they want to get off the credit card. they do not stand for that. what they said by raising their hand was we don't care how much deficit reduction you can get. we don't care how close you get
to balancing the budget. if you raise taxes by one dime, we are against it. that is not a very good position to take. >> eugene robinson, did you see anyone tonight when you consider the road that candidate will take to get all the way to the republican nomination, who can take the presidency away from barack obama? >> i am not sure that i did. if you are going to judge by that metric, i think romney is the strongest of those eight candidates in the general election. we will see the extent of which he corners himself in this radical, right position. i thought the tim/michelle, minnesota nice, it minnesota not so nice smack down were great moments. i thought she'd have did him in that they both connected.
she was going after her record. he was going after her courage. since she was aiming at a more sensitive spot and did connect with her blows, i thought she got the better there. what struck me was rick santorum, who i think did himself some good in this debate tonight. when he was in the senate, he seemed so far to the right. that he was just beyond the pale. here he is, rick santorum, seeming rather moderate in this crowd, explaining to them the practice and necessity of legislative compromise as if it's a foreign concept to everybody else on the stage. it was fascinating. >> and complaining about the iranian regime being tough in the area of game rights. stay with me everybody. more to come on tonight's debate.
coming up, steven cole there is back in the rewrite for what he is doing with his filthy, dirty super pac money after we caught him not telling a lie about it. >> i need to respond to that. >> i understand. you have the next question, senator. dad, did you eat my jell-o pudding? [ dad ] no. pudding face! i'm sorry. you don't look sorry. you're right i'm not. [ male announcer ] get your pudding face on ahead at chris and this is just it anderson area ♪
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hah hah. good. "washington post" columnist and a miss nbc analyst eugene robinson is back. thank you for staying with me. choctaw, bachman verses polanski, was that the hottest one-on-one thing? >> there was no doubt about it. 1 other thing that struck me was something i wanted to say before the break. watching tim hit michele.
i agree, it was eugene that said this. if you were scoring it at the time, okay, bob -- michele got the exchange in those debates, 2007, particularly that one debate. i got a sense it exposed some real weaknesses. romney and perry, essentially, the play book on how to go after her. assuming, maybe he wins the stronghold and gets his mojo back and he is able to get out of the show. if that doesn't happen, though, i would not be provided the blueprint as to how he sort of threw himself on the grenade and tried to stop her if you were romney or rick perry. >> this is a very important point because i think for the
men on that panel taking on the only woman on the panel is difficult. it seems that romney will want him to stay on as long as he can. >> i want to point out what michelle said about tim's record is accurate. the raising of the taxes and the budget issues that he's had, and i thought polenty seriously misrepresented himself tonight. he kicked a lot of cans down the road and penciled a lot of stuff out that was not true budgeting. mark baiten will tell you that he's been left with a real mess. so i thought bachman didn't expect polenty to be as aggressive as he was but i thought she handled herself very well and what she said from my knowledge base was factually correct. >> i don't disagree on that part.
but there were two things that pawlenty sort of forced bachmann to admit and that was the inability to result and she ended up with that weird, i sponsored the light bulb bill. that is just something that, capture that in a 30-second act in new hampshire. >> the other part of bachmann's accomplishment was here are all the things i fought against and lost. she fought against the obama health care bill which became law. so it has a kind of a tilting on wind mills quality. also, she repeatedly misstates the fact. her light bulb bill, for instance, is premised on the idea that by law you won't be able to get old light bulbs, only fluorescents. that's not true. it's kind of a right wing myth
that's developed in this country. but interestingly, she had the crowd behind her, which gives you some indication of what they are kind of protective of her when the attack closes in on her. and that bodes well for her in the straw pull and i think in the iowa caucuses in general. i was listening for that crowd reaction. another time that struck me was when ron paul sounded unbelievably dovish. it was like george mcgovern on steroids about iran, of all places, and the crowd was repeatedly cheering his neoisolationism. that means it's going to be a little bit harder for the republican in the fall against obama to try to outhawk barack obama when the base of the party is now moving in an isolationist direction. >> what do we make of the republican debate when the biggest audience reactions go to the guy who was saying the
leftiest stuff in the debate, ron paul? >> we may combat that ron paul really is a special case. ron paul in these sorts of small kind of contests where the participants are self-selecting, really organized. he has his believers are paulite to the max and they are going to stick with him. he will do well because he always does well in these sorts of situations. interesting, barb bachmann, i thought she not only had the crowd in the hall on her side, but that sort of fighting spirit and never compromise, i stood firm, i just think that really plays well with republicans this year. and i think it's got legs beyond iowa. not that i'm saying she's going to win the nomination, but i think if she does well in the straw poll and then potentially
does well in the caucuses, she's going to be around in this race for a while and she's going to drive either romney or perry or whomever crazy. >> we are going to have to wrap up there. thank you all for your time. chuck, we are all going to be watching the daily rundown tomorrow for your clips and highlights. >> you got it, buddy. coming up, texas governor rick perry decides it's high time the republican presidential primary had a gun-toting, cowboy boot-wearing candidate. his spokesman will announce when he will announce. and sarah palin figures she can make one more plea before the presidential campaign leaves her behind. ♪
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still to come in this hour, the real reason rick perry's people let it slip today that perry is going to announce his run for president on saturday. and in the rewrite tonight, we know what steven colbert says he's doing with that dirty filthy pac money he's raising but we will tell what you our last word investigation found today about what colbert is really doing with that money. ♪
the governor allowed his spokesman to say that perry has decided to run for president. perry will make that completely clear on saturday in what is now perry's obvious attempt to upstage the iowa straw poll that will be taking place at the same time that perry gives a speech in charleston, south carolina. joining me now, msnbc analyst and huffington post reporter alex wagner. alex, perry is in. >> he's in. >> pretty exciting. >> we've got news to play with? >> we do, we do. this is perry's attempt to toss a ten gallon hat over the state of iowa. but it comes as his campaign was denied their plot of grass at the straw poll. so lest any opportunity go by to
stick a cowboy's spur in the gop race, they made the announcement today. >> it's designed to specifically kind of preempt in certain ways the debate tonight? >> sure. >> and so they they -- but going forward here, what -- is the -- is perry going to come in to iowa or is he going to go full force everywhere? >> you've got to think that, look, he has major conservative support. this is his wheel house. he's going to play in iowa. he'll be in waterloo on sunday. he's ramped up against the machine that he knows that michelle bachmann is holding a slice of the pie he wants. you've seen sabre rattling on both sides. there's a new pac established for michelle bachmann. against rick perry called keep conservatives united. now perry has one against bachmann that's make us great again. it's less filling, taste great. >> it's going to be fun.
perry sat down with mark and talked to him about the thoughts of how he approached the decision to run for president. >> i went from got the best job in america to today being fully engaged in this process of making a decision. the issue of is this what i want to do was dealt with about 45 days ago in a conversation with my wife. prior to that, no, being the president of the united states was not on my radar screen from the standpoint of something i want to do. >> so start to finish. i love when politicians who are not president of the united states say i have the greatest job in america. always the prerequisite. then this lie 45 days ago. get out of here, the day you decided to be a politician is
the day you wanted to run for president. but that's the official line. he's finally come around. the country needs him. >> his wife's blessing. she was telling him it was his duty to serve and he had to leave his plum job and do something for the country. or at least that's the campaign line. >> combined with mitt romney's very bad day in iowa talking to actual voters, which is not romney's strength, perry, now, you would think that there's more interest in perry among republican establishment people looking for a winner. because every day romney looks like less of a winner. >> absolutely. you can see this in the behavior. there's not a lot of excitement about romney except for the fact that he happens to be a front-runner. so the minute there's someone else, and perry has been giving him a run for the money even without announcing his candidacy.
it bodes very, very well. how it plays out, it's giving the romney campaign pause. >> it's not the unanimous welcome to rick perry. mike huckabee who lost the 2008 straw poll, won the caucus had this to say. >> he may decide he's not going to play iowa at all. maybe that's what this decision by announcing on the day of the straw poll is about. but i guarantee you, you watch, the other candidates will beat the daylights out of him for not respecting the straw poll, so will the iowa republican party. out there the conversations on the streets will be it's bad form to make the announcement on the day that the attention was in iowa. >> iowa expert mike huckabee, how can you argue with that? >> i love how he refers to the streets -- the streets of iowa will rise up against you. >> a very strong conservative base in iowa that will play well for whom rick perry is going to play well.
whether there's going to be f t fistacuffs, he's overplaying how much of a tactical error this may be. >> thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks. rick perry was not the first person to think up ways to draw attention away from the debate, guess whose butts just rolled in to iowa? that's coming up. but first, steven colbert is using fear mongering to raise dirty money for the dirty super pac. the last word investigation will reveal what colbert is really doing with the money. that's in "the rewrite."
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years of trying to make this country greater? maybe the only thing i've learned, never trust a man in makeup. i mean, how can you trust a guy who won't let you even see what his face really looks like? which brings us, of course, to the second night in a row to stephen colbert. who wears makeup every day. in show business every day of course means four days a week. there is no man in makeup less trustworthy that stephen colbert, except for that one time when he testified to congress about immigration. and it is not just coincidental that he has never worn less makeup than when he was testifying to congress. last night in this space, we did a report on exactly how stephen colbert is wasting the dirty filthy campaign money he's collecting for his dirty filthy super pac. colbert raises money for his super pac by flooding the internet with manipulative
e-mail that are beneath the dignity of the worst nigerian spam scammers. he begins one with the salutation -- dear future victims. he comes right out and calls the people he's trying to trick out of their money victims. nigerian spam scammers at least accord their victims the respect of never actually calling them victims. never demeanoring them that way. but colbert's meanness knows no bounds. here's how he scares people into handing him their money. under the subject, "spiders in your hair" in his e-mail he writes, "dear future victims, they're doing it again and we have only seconds to stop them before you, your pets, and everyone you love could experience whatever it is you're most afraid of. exclamation point.
and don't forget, earlier i used the phrase, "spiders in your hair." send me $25 to make a difference or send me $100 to make four differences or just let the bad guys win. your choice. quick, look behind you! stephen colbert." this rank fear mongering is colbert's key fundraising technique. after our show last night, i suddenly felt duped by colbert because we had shown the first ad that colbert said his super pac is putting on television in iowa. while making fun of rick perry. and unconventional campaign ad to say the least. you can go to our website to see the entire ad in case you missed it last night. the ad is so ridiculous that after thinking about it after the show, i realized, hey, wait a minute, no iowa television station is going to accept this
ad. it was so obvious to me that colbert was lying about buying iowa tv time for the ad. i mean, what respectable iowa tv station would sell him time for that? it didn't make me feel any better to think that the rest of the news media fell for his lie because i'd really gone for it. i went for it hook, line, and sinker. i read the colbert super pac press release accompanying the ad word-for-word. i've never read a press release word-for-word on television before. so i put last word producer nick ramsey on the case since he produced last night's segment about the colbert super pac. i was ready to make him take all the blame for us showing a colbert ad that, of course, wasn't really running on iowa television. nick's first call was to an nbc affiliate in des moines, iowa, who-tv.
he asked a guy who picked up the phone in the newsdesk if anyone there happened to notice the colbert super pac ad running on our affiliate or any other iowa station. the guy at the newsdesk said, immediately, quote, yeah, it ran during our 5:00 newscast yesterday. now, this does not mean stephen colbert is to be trusted. it means that we here at "the last word" have now proven that stephen colbert has told the truth exactly once in his life. well, two if you count his testimony to congress which, as viewers of this show already know, i was really impressed with. but because colbert told the truth about his super pac wasting its dirty filthy super pac money by putting a silly ad on iowa tv, colbert has earned the privilege of us, once again, showing a colbert super pac ad.
it is, like the first one, an ad for rick perry. or against rick perry -- or against super pacs, or against political tv ads in general. or maybe even against iowa. and america. it's an ad like you've never seen before. unless you saw the first one. and, remember, to prove that it is not coordinating the spending of its dirty filthy super pac money with the rick perry campaign, the colbert super pac spells perry with an "a." >> iowa, a land of good people who can make up their own minds. but outside groups like jobs for iowa super pac are trying to pander to iowians with pro-perry
ads featuring pornography so your kids can see just so you'll vote for rick perry as the ames straw poll. but americans for a better tomorrow tomorrow believes that iowa ans deserve better, and we're going to give it to you. we're getting all up in those niblets. on august 13, write in rick parry, that's parry with an a for america, with an a for iowa. americans for a better tomorrow tomorrow is responsible for the content of this advertising. oh! llips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
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sarah palin is restarting her one nation publicity seeking bus tour rolling in to the iowa state fair in des moines tomorrow, just in time to grab some of the attention being paid to the republican presidential candidates while mitt romney, tim pawlenty, michelle bachmann and the others debate and compete in the ames straw poll, palin will be, quote, her words, restoring all that is good and strong and free. and she'll be doing that at the iowa state fair. she also said i'm also excited to try some of that famous fried butter on a stick, fried cheesecake on a stick, fried twinkies, etc. i'll enjoy them in honor of those people who would rather just make us eat our peas.
they join new hampshire on the day romney would announce his candidacy. and when bachmann announced her run for president in her hometown of waterloo, iowa and sarah palin also happened to be in iowa to attend a premiere about the documentary about her entitled "the undefeated." the paul simon public policy institute at carbondale and former chief political columnist for the des moines register. thank you for joining us tonight, david. >> good to be with you. >> has iowa caught on to the palin publicity bus tour this is all about getting attention for sarah palin? or are some people in iowa, some of the good people desperately hoping she's going to run for president? >> no, i think more and more republicans are not happy with her. the ones i talked to, what is she doing kind of thing. i think early on, they were willing to give her the benefit
of the doubt, but there's a point in this process that if you're serious about running for president, the saying out here is you have to fish or cut bait. by flitting around with this thing, it does start to take on the aura of publicity to her when in fact when she wants to run for president, she needs to be doing events, doing some retail politics. and they're not seeing that yet. >> doesn't perry's move allow his spokesman today saying he'll announce on saturday that he really is running for president, doesn't perry getting more serious even highlight just how unserious the palin publicity tour is? >> well, you're talking about two different potential candidates here. i think governor parry is real. but like sarah palin, you know, he can -- he's got to get in this thing in a big way if he expects iowa republicans to take him seriously. a lot of respect for governor
parry. i think that -- a lot of people want to see him run. and, you know, at some point, you have to get out of the jet and start doing the retail work that goes into winning an iowa caucus campaign, like the other candidates are doing. and so i think -- i don't think he -- at some point, he's got to start slogging it out with all of the rest of the candidates. >> it seems to be that he's going to say in effect in no uncertain terms on saturday that he's going to run for president. and then there's some indication that he may be flying to iowa as soon as sunday. if he does that, and he gets -- he starts getting serious in iowa as early as sunday, will it be forgiven that he did not participate in the straw poll and he didn't get started earlier? >> yes, i think it will be forgiven. one of the effects that happens in iowa in both parties, lawrence, when candidates get in or get out is it unsettles the race. so if people like governor parry and sarah palin decide to get in
the race, republican activists are not going to automatically sign up for them. they're going to move to undecided. most of the caucus-goers are professional undecideds, they're preferences, enthusiastic supporters. these are people, they want to see all of the events. they want to see the candidates. the same phenomenon in new hampshire as you know. and so if governor parry gets in this, he'll unsettled race for a while. and there'll be plenty of time for him to do the retail work that he needs. he's got to start doing it. that's my point. >> tell us how to watch the straw poll on saturday. it has produced in the past some results that had absolutely no meaning going forward in the campaign. but also it gave the win to george w. bush. when he was running for president, he ended up with the nomination and the presidency. what should we be looking for on saturday? >> for better or worse, the straw poll as brewer said gives iowa two bites at the apple. it takes on the same trappings of the caucuses themselves. it will do two things.
one, it can potentially knock some candidates out of the race. if they do poorly, governor pawlenty and gingrich, some of the others -- herman kahne, i think some of them will have trouble raising money. that's happened in the past, it's knocked the candidates out of the race. the other thing it can do is elevate candidates. a lot of media attention and publicity. even with all of sarah palin and governor parry buzzing around the thing, a win is a win. it will be a headline. it will elevate some candidates. those are the two things that i think this straw poll will do. >> and the -- the front-runner of the front-runner up until the parry entrance in the campaign, mitt romney, who has been largely ignoring iowa, what kind of price does he pay for doing that? >> well, you know, i think mitt romney is trying to have a little bit of both ways. he's made a huge investment in the state in the past. he spent $10 million last time.
he spent a lot of time in this state. he's well known to activist republicans. he's led in some of the early polls here. but what he's trying to do is make sure that the national media doesn't label him a front-runner in iowa in case somebody comes along and beats him. so it's called tamping down his expectations. but he's here. he's moving around. he's got people who are trying to do things on his behalf. and so i think mitt romney is trying to have it run both ways. but politicians who run for president always do that. >> they do. the former chief political columnist for the register, now the director of the paul simon public policy institute at southern illinois university carbondale. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> you can have the last word online. follow my tweets @lawrence. back live at 11:00 p.m. the rachel maddow show is up next. good evening, rachel. >> looking forward to that live 11:00 p.m. eastern show